Precious Metal Burns at Fuel Stop
Just got word that Reno Unlimited Racer Precious Metal caught fire after a fuel stop in route to Stead. Thom had made it to Marianna Muni in Florida.
Here is owner/pilot Thom Richard's message:
*Dear Race Fans,
It's with a heavy heart I am forced to announce the end of Precious Metal's air racing career. She sustained heavy damage in a ground fire at a fuel stop this afternoon. The aircraft was running fine and I was taxying out of the chocks after fueling up, a gentleman came running and signaled me to shut down. I had no idea I was on fire until he alerted me as it was under the airplane. By the time I came to a stop the flames were reaching the cockpit on the left side and I abandoned ship. There was no time to attempt fighting the fire as we feared an imminent explosion with 190 gallons of fuel onboard.
The fire department showed up after about 12 minutes and took 20 minutes to put the flames out with foam. But the damage was done. The aircraft is intact, but sustained heavy damage.
Thank you for all the support over the years, you are the best fans.
The bright spot is, that Thom is alright, and will be in Reno to fly his F1 racer Hot Stuff in the AirRace1 World Cup Series Finale.
Thanks to Kirk Sunley and Aaron Libersat on Facebook for their pictures!